EXCLUSIVE – James Norwood: “We’ve made it difficult for ourselves now”

By Peter Tscherewik

Tranmere suffered a heartbreaking 1-4 loss at the hand of league leaders Macclesfield on Tuesday night, in a game that saw a 2017-18 record crowd at Prenton Park. James Norwood believes that ‘principles’ were to blame for the defeat.

The 27-year old has been a key figure in Micky Mellon’s side this season, with himself and strike partner Andy Cook scoring 28 between them for the campaign so far.

Cook scored Tranmere’s only goal on the night, with the defeat dropping the Super Whites down to sixth in the Vanarama National League table, seven points adrift of Macclesfield at the top. Norwood admitted that it will be tough for the team after losing to the league leaders.

“We knew how big of a game it was, at least we wanted was to come away with a draw and stay in the hunt.

We’ve made it difficult for ourselves now. So, we’re reliant on a couple of teams to slip up but we’re ready to do that when the time comes.”

cook

Andy Cook celebrates after scoring against Macclesfield (Credit – Tranmere Rovers)

Prior to Tuesday’s defeat, Tranmere had only lost three of their previous 19 domestic fixtures dating back to October. Micky Mellon’s side have turned Prenton Park into a fortress this season, having registered nine league wins on the spin prior to this defeat.

Rovers had been the better side for much of the first-half, without any real reward. To have conceded on the stroke of half-time was a huge blow and Norwood admits the loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

He said: “We didn’t stick to the principles that we’ve played by the last couple of months, you can tell by the results we’ve been doing things that we’ve supposed to be doing.

“We conceded just before half-time which is massive in any game, got ourselves back into, game became stretched, we countered and they broke from a throw-in in the end.

“It’s things that can put right easily it’s just a shame that it happened against a team like Macclesfield.”

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James Norwood attempts to challenge Keith Lowe of Macclesfield (Credit – Tranmere Rovers)

The official attendance for Tuesday’s match was 7,385, that being a club-record for this season and surpassing many other fixtures taking place in higher divisions. As the results have picked up, so have the numbers coming into the ground.

When asked about the key to home success, the striker pin-pointed the fans as a big reason why the team have done so well.

“I think the fans are a massive part, attendances are up but like I said, principles. We sat down in early September and said what do we want to get out of this season and how are we going to do it.

“From November time we’ve stuck to those principals of how we’re going to play and our roles within the team and you can see the results, I think we lost three in 23 from there.”, he said.

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